So we are curious, who ‘ileke idi’ don epp?

Waist beads have been worn by African women since the beginning of time, the name for it might vary from one culture to the other but its purposes,-ranging from heightened sexual appeal to monitoring of weight loss,- cut across these different cultures.

As a girl growing up in western Nigeria, the most popular name for waist beads was ileke idi and one of its most popular uses was to somehow bestow you with a larger ass and wider hips. And so in faith some of us would buy as many as we could fit under our clothes and wear them all day waiting for this miracle to happen.

I was fifteen and impatiently waiting for my body to fill out when I discovered ileke idi. I was in boarding school and my bunk mate who had been wearing them for a while had impossibly large hips for a sixteen year old. So I got her to buy a ton for me the next time she went home and refused to take them off for a whole term. I had so much faith in those strings of tiny glass beads, and I was beyond heartbroken when my mother tore them off my waist the day she found them on me. I still blame her for my rather boyish figure. Maybe if I was still wearing my ileke idi by now I’ll have had the Coke bottle body I dreamed off when I was fifteen.

Since my experience was cut short by mother, I guess I’ll never get to know if wearing ileke idi really does help your ass grow bigger. However I’ve always been curious, who ileke idi don epp?

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The online destination and fashion journal that goes beyond the surface and taps the pulse on all things FASHION. First out of Nigeria and increasingly across the continent, with wit, intelligence and humour.


TSS is an arm of the RED brand, which is the continent's largest omni-media group focused on Africa's youth.